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How to Rescue Animals for Home Adoption

Updated on August 12, 2013

Look Closely............There are TWO Animals in This Photo

Melody and Oliver, both rescues!!  They love each other so dearly that they think they are Mother and Son!
Melody and Oliver, both rescues!! They love each other so dearly that they think they are Mother and Son! | Source

There Are Entirely Too Many Animals Being Euthanized

There are approximately 5,000 animal shelters in the United States. Believe it or not, none of these shelters are regulated by any government agency.

5 to 7 million pet quality animals are brought to shelters or picked up by an animal control agency each year. Only an estimated 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners because of microchips, tattoos, and tags. Unfortunately, less than 2 percent of cats are returned to their original owners.

About 60 percent of the dogs that are brought in are euthanized. About 70 percent of cats that are brought in are euthanized. This means that approximately 360,000 dogs and 420,000 cats are euthanized each year in America!

Did you know that about 25 percent of dogs brought to shelters are purebred? According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals), this is the case.

Please choose a rescue over purebreds, animals from pet shops or puppy mills. When you choose a pet, bring the whole family to spend time with the animal before you decide.

Have you ever rescued an animal?

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Olive and I writing online - She is actually the smart one in the family!  She can open windows, move furniture, and tell time!
Olive and I writing online - She is actually the smart one in the family! She can open windows, move furniture, and tell time! | Source
Cowboy - a previously abused Black Mouth Cur with heart shaped markings on his face, and the love to go with it.
Cowboy - a previously abused Black Mouth Cur with heart shaped markings on his face, and the love to go with it. | Source
Buttons!  A rescue kitty!  This cat has the softest fur I have ever felt in my life, and she sure would love for you to find out for yourself.
Buttons! A rescue kitty! This cat has the softest fur I have ever felt in my life, and she sure would love for you to find out for yourself. | Source

Reasons to Adopt a Rescue

There are numerous benefits to owning a pet. There are programs that allow people to bring cats and dogs to nursing homes for the benefit of the elderly. The smiles and giggles from those whose bodies are crippling and minds are forgetting will bring a heartwarming tear to the eye.

Not only the elderly enjoy wagging tails and soft purrs. Pets are great for teaching children responsibility, and can be educational. They are almost always entertaining. Yes, there are major responsibilities that come with owning a pet, but the work is more than worth the investment.

The best medicine is laughter. Physically, emotionally, and psychologically, laughter is extremely beneficial to a person. Endorphins are released in the brain and a euphoric feeling overcomes the giggler. If you view some of the videos below, I promise your brain will release some endorphins.

Just imagine the feeling of loneliness or sadness. Imagine grieving. Now imagine a set of big brown eyes peeking at you over the edge of the couch. Imagine a lick on your toes or a snuggly, warm purr in your lap. Animals are sensitive to the feelings of their owners, and offer unconditional love. They will protect you, comfort you, be your companion, and love you more than you could ever believe.

When you decide to adopt a rescue animal, why not take two? If you are working full time, it is especially nice for your new family member to have company; another family member. Once you keep an animal in your home or yard, having two isn't much different, other than the expense. However, it is twice the love. Just be sure you have the ability to care for the animals fully. They are living, breathing, loving creatures that deserve all their basic needs met. What do they need? They need love, food, love, water, love, exercise, love, attention, love, humane training, love, patience, love, and veterinary care.

Katie - rescued as a pup, she is now 16 years old!  She still looks and acts like a pup, even though she has some health issues.  She sure won't let that stop her from playing!
Katie - rescued as a pup, she is now 16 years old! She still looks and acts like a pup, even though she has some health issues. She sure won't let that stop her from playing! | Source
So easily entertained!  Too funny!
So easily entertained! Too funny! | Source
Chloe only wants 3 things:  Food, Love, and PLAY!
Chloe only wants 3 things: Food, Love, and PLAY! | Source
Oliver...thinks he's a dog.  He loves to lay on his back!  Rescued in 2010
Oliver...thinks he's a dog. He loves to lay on his back! Rescued in 2010 | Source
Melody - its hard to bathe a hundred pound lab!  Whew!  She's playing shy in this picture.  What a flirt!
Melody - its hard to bathe a hundred pound lab! Whew! She's playing shy in this picture. What a flirt! | Source
Patches AKA:  Big Momma is a beautiful tortoise shell calico with the most adorable front paws I've ever seen!  She passed away 9/11/12.  RIP Patches - we will miss you.
Patches AKA: Big Momma is a beautiful tortoise shell calico with the most adorable front paws I've ever seen! She passed away 9/11/12. RIP Patches - we will miss you. | Source
Gracie - her owners drove from South Florida to Alabama to get her.  They saved her from death row by only hours!
Gracie - her owners drove from South Florida to Alabama to get her. They saved her from death row by only hours! | Source

Recommendations for Newly Adoptees and Their Owners

  1. Bring your animal to a vet within 1 week or less for a full physical examination. Usually, the animal shelter will offer discounted or free certificates to participating Veterinarians. Almost always the animal will have the required vaccinations. But if your pet is too young at the time of adoption, be sure to follow up.
  2. Bathe your animal and check their ears for dirt (which could be a sign of ear mites). Both ear mites and upper respiratory infections are common and contagious in a shelter. This may require assistance.
  3. It is recommended that you give your animal a 'capstar' pill. This pill is about $4-6 and will kill all fleas within 4 hours. Nip that right in the bud before you have to fumigate your entire home. Check with your Vet if further treatment is needed.

Olive - another rescue.  She actually glows in the dark!
Olive - another rescue. She actually glows in the dark! | Source

Other Choices

God gave us a plethora of animals to choose from when we crave companionship. Many people enjoy caring for and riding horses. There are rescue horse shelters as well. If you are interested in adopting a horse, please refer to one of the links listed above.

Fish are known to be relaxing to watch. This could be a transitional pet to get you ready for something a little bigger. Reptiles are also animals that some people have as pets. From ball pythons to bearded dragons there are many safe reptile pets available. You may decide to start with something smaller, like a turtle, frog or hamster. I don't recommend having a ball python and a hamster in the same room.

Any pet will require a period of adjustment. Please be patient and educate yourself on the best way possible to train your new family member(s) to learn acceptable behavior. The following links may help:

My Grand-dog Spartacus, singing with his Daddy! The only one with musical talent in the whole family!

Please remember that animals are a lifetime commitment. The word 'pet' is only one name for a loved one, having the same value as the word sister, neighbor, or friend. Most importantly, if you already have animals, PLEASE SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PETS! There are thousands of lovable, loyal, unwanted animals put down every week!

Thank you for reading my article. I hope it was helpful and enlightening. I like to learn from others, so please feedback provided in the comments section would be greatly appreciated.

"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen

God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan

Please Help If You Can ~ Your Love Will Be Returned Greatly. They Truly Are Man's Best Friend If You Allow It

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    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Oh that would be wonderful, allie! Thank you!

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

      You've made me want to run out and adopt a dog from our local shelter but I don't think my spolied little Westie would approve of the competition so will have to make do with giving a donation to help their work instead. I am definitely inspired to think about getting a rescue dog next time around. My mother is thinking of getting a dog, so I will pass this hub on to her. Really useful hub.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thank you for all you do for those critters, habee! I wish more people were like you!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      He's quite entertaining, Nettlemere! Thank you for your comment.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Oliver's such a bendy cat! I couldn't work out how he managed to get his legs appearing at such an odd angle, but he must have a neck like an owl!

      I'm a big fan of adopting pets and have a lot of pleasure from them. Lovely hub.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      This is wonderful! I can't tell you how many critters my family and I have rescued - both wild and domestic. Voted up, etc!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thank you, Marcy

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      A very touching hub - and the pictures are great! The two kitties in the bathtub are darling, by the way. How I wish people would think first of rescue animals when they want pets, rather than ignoring those precious animals.

    • profile image

      DoItForHer 5 years ago

      Think about the consequences before getting two dogs. Often it is not as easy as picking up another dog and everything will be fine. I find that having two dogs takes more time and more work. If one dog has issues, and it probably will, that can create new problems for the other dog.

      I'm not saying stick with one dog, but be aware of the potential problems and be ready to invest the extra time if necessary.

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 5 years ago from Northern California

      Love what you have put together here. All of our indoor pets have been from shelters or pounds. Is is heartbreaking to know how many are put down each year.

      We need more people getting out this important message like you did here.

      Voted up, useful and awesome.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      That's wonderful, Joy. I would take him to the vet though; for your protection and his.

      Thank you for sharing!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image
      Author

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Katie is 16 and still acts like a pup...you could get an adult dog that is puppy like. Thanks for taking the time to read the hub, adopting the dogs, and commenting!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      You have written an amazing hub with such great photo's all tugging at my heart.

      I have a stray cat that I feed and brush, not sure if a girl or boy.Now he's wearing a flea collar I bought him because he comes into our house and likes to sleep on our bed.

      Voted across the top except for funny. Joyce.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Such adorable animals!I really like Katie. Both of my dogs are shelter pets. They were both adopted when about a year old, which is something I think turns people off shelter pets. While I was on-site playing with one of the dogs I then adopted, I saw people adopting from a little of puppies so fast it was crazy. No one wanted the adult dogs. I think adopting an adult dog can be great. You skip the teething and maybe even the house training!